One of the greatest strengths of the Perl programming language is its ability to manipulate large amounts of data. Database programming is therefore a natural fit for Perl, not only for business applications but also for CGI-based web and intranet applications.
The primary interface for database programming in Perl is DBI. DBI is a database-independent package that provides a consistent set of routines regardless of what database product you use--Oracle, Sybase, Ingres, Informix, you name it. The design of DBI is to separate the actual database drivers (DBDs) from the programmer's API, so any DBI program can work with any database, or even with multiple databases by different vendors simultaneously.
Programming the Perl DBI is coauthored by Alligator Descartes, one of the most active members of the DBI community, and by Tim Bunce, the inventor of DBI. For the uninitiated, the book explains the architecture of DBI and shows you how to write DBI-based programs. For the experienced DBI dabbler, this book reveals DBI's nuances and the peculiarities of each individual DBD.
The book includes:
An introduction to DBI and its design
How to construct queries and bind parameters
Working with database, driver, and statement handles
Coverage of each existing DBD
A complete reference to DBI
This is the definitive book for database programming in Perl.
Tim Bunce has been a perl5 porter since 1994, contributing to the development of the Perl language and many of its core modules. He is the author and maintainer of the DBI, DBD::Oracle,and Oracle::OCI modules, and author and co-maintainer of The Perl Module List. Tim is the founder and CTO of Data-Plan Services, a perl, database, and performance consultancy with an international client base. Prior to that we was Technical Director (CTO) of IG in the UK where he was awarded by British Telecom for his role in the rapid development of their Call Management Information service, a system implemented in Perl. He is co-author, along with Alligator Descartes, of Programming the Perl DBI, the definitive book on DBI, published by O'Reilly & Associates in February 2000.
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Chapters 4-6 and the appendices is where I spend most of my time with "Programming the Perl DBI" by Alligator Descartes & Tim Bunce. Those chapters take the reader step by step through the process of creating a connection, performing operations and disconnecting from the database. The appendices add an excellent amount of material explaining the many different drivers and flags for each. Bunce & Descartes keeps the material interesting by basing the examples on Megalithic sites.
Chapters 1-3 are great for beginners in the world of databases and SQL. Chapter 2 is worth skimming for people who are more new to perl than databases. Advanced readers will want to skip directly to Chapter 4. The last two chapters are as needed. The DBD::CSV section in the appendix and snippets of Chapter 2 is useful for me since I ferry data from databases to a menagerie of flat files.
This is while I buy Oreilly books. This is THE book on DBI, but also is an excellent book on databases in general, and teaches you some Perl along the way. Includes a huge DBI doc section from Bunce. One of the best books I have ever bought.
This book presented necessary information on how to interact with databases using Perl. The introductionary chapters presented "known" Perl methods for writing and reading data. It prompted my getting out "Learning Perl" to have a Perl resource on hand to follow the text. About Perl DBI, there are really surprisingly few statements to learn and use. I'm very seriously looking at sources of data that can be easily put in database format and made usable with the DBI. The statement formats and how they are implemented were presented quite completely and were backed by pretty complete explanations and examples.
The book is excellent, the dbi module is a solid foundation for inexpensive industrial ecommerce solutions, but the DBD ODBC at least in my case does not work with Microsoft Access 2000, and that is to bad, because Ms Access is the most commonly adopted and inexpensive semi industrial database available. I belive also that the book needs more complete code examples.
The only moan I have is that it didn't come out earlier.
The shop where I work asked me to cost a project using Perl as the back end for a T1 sales feed into an Oracle DB. They wanted to know if they could buy a package to do this. After a little research, I fell over the DBI. They were amazed at the "cost", and delighted with the speed.
I finally got the book about a week ago. Lo and behold, it also covered flat files. A large part of this shop's income comes from a custom doc library, flat files exported from many different DBs. So not only did the book aid with optimising the script I'd already written for the Oracle interface, but it's going to make all our lives easier for the next release of their commercial app.